Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of Zoloft is being sued alleging the antidepressant has no more benefit than a placebo
Pfizer describes the lawsuit as “frivolous” telling Associated Press that clinical studies and the experience of millions of patients and their doctors over two decades prove Zoloft is effective.
Zoloft was approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in 1991, and was deemed safe after 20 clinical studies were reviewed involving more than 5,000 patients.
However, Laura A. Plumlee claims to have taken Zoloft for three years with little or no benefit. Plumlee is accusing Pfizer of consumer fraud among other offenses, including paying prominent doctors to promote Zoloft to colleagues or to be listed as authors of positive medical journal articles the company prepared for publication.
“Pfizer believes the lawsuit filed in California is groundless and is based largely on information that has been widely criticized by many experts in the mental health field.” Associated Press.
Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association said, the lawsuit’s claims are “ridiculous” and without merit. “As a class, antidepressant medications are highly effective. They alleviate substantial amounts, if not complete symptoms, in 50 to as high as 80% of patients treated who suffer from major depression.”
Dr. Norman Sussman, a NY University psychiatry professor said there’s only about 35% chance an antidepressant will help.
The lawsuit opens debate as to just how effective and safe antidepressants are, including Zoloft, Prozac, and Paxil.
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